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Home arrow False and "Recovered" Memories arrow False Memory Syndrome - Articles arrow Recovered Memory Therapy and False Memories

Recovered Memory Therapy and False Memories

Article Index
Recovered Memory Therapy and False Memories
Initiation of Patients into RMT
Generating False Memories
The Dark Side of Recovery
The Care and Maintenance of False Memories
How Memory Really Works
Why Recovered Memory Therapy is Bad Therapy
Other Kinds of FMS
A Word About the Future

The Care and Maintenance of False Memories

FMS involves a combination of mistaken perceptions and false beliefs.  The fledgling FMS patient is encouraged to "connect" with an environment that will reinforce the FMS state, and is encouraged to "disconnect" from people or information that might lead her to question the results of RMT.

The FMS subculture is victim-oriented.  Even though they have not undergone anticancer chemotherapy or walked away from airplane crashes, FMS patients are told they too are "survivors." This becomes a kind of new identity, giving FMS patients the feeling of a strong bond with other "survivors" of abuse.  Patients will often start attending "survivor" support groups, subscribe to "survivor" newsletters, or even attend "survivor" conventions (sometimes with their therapists).

They will read books found in "recovery" sections of bookstores.  The best known book, The Courage to Heal, is weighty, literate, and thus appears authoritative.  Authors Laura Davis and Ellen Bass have no formal training in psychology, psychiatry, or memory.  This paperback, modestly priced at $20, has sold over 700,000 copies.

Patients are told to shy away from dialogue with skeptical friends or relatives, since this will hinder their "recovery."  "Perpetrators" who proclaim their innocence cannot be taken seriously since they are "in denial" and incapable of telling the truth.

Aside from these social influences, people by nature often resist seeing themselves as being in error.  It can be terribly painful to acknowledge having made a big mistake, particularly when harmful consequences have resulted.

RMT exploits the tendency within each of us to blame others for our problems, and to latch onto simple answers for life's complicated problems.  RMT therapists suggest that aside from entirely ruining childhoods, childhood sexual abuse can explain anything and everything that goes wrong during adulthood.  RMT becomes the ultimate crybaby therapy.